Despite the common view that there is inherently a relationship of confliction, it is now impossible to imagine the financing of family-owned enterprises in Germany without the alternative method of Private Equity financing. Based on a survey on Private Equity in family owned companies specialising in the mechanical engineering sector, this working paper identifies that Private Equity in general is not as unwanted as once assumed. Overall more than 3/4 of the surveyed companies do not exclude investment capital. However, the study demonstrates that the time of large buy-outs is arguably up, and minority capital has now come into vogue. This working paper examines, from the viewpoint of the managing directors of the studied companies, the conceptions and beliefs held by such persons about Private Equity. Generally speaking, besides loss of control, managing directors primarily fear Private Equity because of exaggerated returns on investment at the expense of the long-term development of the company. On the other hand, this paper also highlights that managing directors expect that Private Equity can have a positive element as it can enable bank independence, especially at a time when it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain creditworthiness. Further, this paper analyses the relationship between the managing director of the family enterprise and the Private Equity investor. Because of the special situation of the managing director in a family owned company, trust between that person and the Private Equity investor is one of the most important factors. If there is a lack of trust the business relation is troubled from the start.
Private equity buyout family owned enterprises minority capital credit crisis MBO MBI return on investments LBO leveraged finance M&A